Mitchell Taylor isn't a stranger to a no-hit bid, and that mind-set might have helped him deliver five hitless innings for short-season Bluefield on Thursday.
Taylor struck out seven and didn't allow a walk while extending his scoreless-inning streak to 12 frames in the Blue Jays' 3-2 win over the Greeneville Astros.
"I threw two [no-hitters] in high school and just missed a third," said the 19-year-old Texas native, who was selected in the seventh round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of high school.
In his last two appearances, Taylor has surrendered just one hit and two walks, striking out 16 over 11 scoreless innings.
"I've hit my midseason stride," said Taylor. "My mechanics are really sound, so I don't have to do as much mentally. I'm just playing the game and having fun, doing what I know how to do."
Greeneville put runners on base in only two of Taylor's five frames. The southpaw hit Jose Monzon with a pitch in the third inning, but after stealing second and third, Monzon was stranded.
Taylor hit Luis Alvarez with a pitch to lead off the fifth. He advanced to second on Ronald Sanchez's sacrifice bunt and to third on a two-out balk. Monzon then reached on a fielding error by third baseman Matt Johnson, but Alvarez didn't score on the play. Chan Moon struck out swinging to end the threat.
"I wasn't disappointed to be taken out because I knew it was coming," Taylor said. "Toronto's pitching coordinator [Dane Johnson] and GM [Alex Anthopoulos] don't want any of us working more than five innings."
Taylor has given up one run in 20 innings over his last four outings to lower his ERA to 2.54 -- third-best in the Appalachian League.
The Jays won on a walk-off RBI single by Kevin Pillar in the ninth. Pillar also homered in the third to put Bluefield on the board.